Happy December, Happy Chanukah!


Here we are again, the dreaded December home-and-home with the Islanders. Not exactly an anniversary, because last year it was Dec. 16-17. But close enough.

You may recall last December, the Rangers’ fast start having evaporated into two months of mediocrity when the Islanders came to MSG and rocked the Rangers. The score was 2-1. The on-ice performance was much worse than that.

It began with John Tortorella’s infamous profanity-laced post-game tirade, and it continued with the benchings of Wade Redden and Ales Kotalik in the next game, on Long Island, and the demotion of Chris Drury to the fourth line, and the players meetings called by Henrik Lundqvist and Sean Avery, etc.

The Rangers went out and convincingly won the rematch at the Coliseum to start a 8-1-4 stretch in which they took 20 of a possible 26 points.

My point? Don’t let it get to the original crisis in the first place. The Rangers should already be annoyed, embarrassed and angered with the loss to the Isles earlier in the season (the Wisniewski game, remember?). They should need no further motivation than that, or than last year’s event.

The trouble is this — and we talked about this on a radio show I did last night — the Rangers don’t take the Rangers-Islanders rivarly nearly as seriously as the Islanders do. For them, it’s their Stanley Cup. For the Rangers it’s an aggravating game against a team that is guaranteed to be buzzing like agitated hornets.

The solution, as Lundqvist and others have mentioned throughout the years: Match their intensity. Because on nights when the opponent matches the Islanders’ intensity, they don’t normally win much. But if you’re going to sit by and let them dictate tempo and passion, you’re going down to the worst team in the league. Simple as that.

Or you can come out with a first-game loss and then hope that’s enough motivation for Game 2. I don’t imagine that’s Tortorella’s first choice.

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  1. wicky© (We still need a hard hitting physical crease clearing d man!) on

    Happy plethora of religious holidays to all of you who observe!!

  2. Jbytes,I read your comment and instantly thought of that Prospal interview @ preseason where Carp narrowly escaped with his life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…or something like that.

  3. Ugh, no need to remind of that 2-1 loss. It was one of the worst played games I’ve had the misfortune to witness.

    I’m going to Friday’s game, at least my worst fears won’t be realized. My worst fear was that the Isles would still be on their losing streak and they’d break it at MSG.

  4. It be worth it for Torts to reach back into Rangers history and get some of the old Blueshirts to fill the current team in on the animosity and hatred that used to be the rangers-Fishsticks rivalry,

  5. Let’s just hope we can put them on another losing streak Thursday and keep ’em there on Friday. Seriously, looking at our schedule, the boys can put a nice winning streak right now.

    Good afternoon, boneheads! And Happy Hanukkah! Where is Sally?

  6. ThisYearsModel on

    CARP—thanks for reminding me about last year’s game. The only one I saw at the garden as I now live in SoCal. That game was horrible. Hopefully, these two will be better.

  7. You’re right, Carp. The way they lost out in the island in the beginning of the season was embarrassing and should serve as enough motivation to get 2 wins and play a full 3 periods for both games….

    Avery is on the top line with EC and Gaby at practice today. Interesting… Don’t like EC in that spot…

  8. I’d switch Stepan for EC in that spot….but I guess, we should see how EC handles it first..

    Can anybody give me a good reason why Zuccarello hasn’t been called up yet? We need more scoring touch on the wing and he has the talent. He can be a major catalyst on the power play. How much longer is he going to rot in Hartford? I highly doubt he needs any more time to “adjust to the North American game”. He’s been a pro hockey player for a number of years already. Plus, it would serve him well and give him confidence to get out of that losing environment and play with the big club.

  9. Maybe these players need a few more chats with fans. I hate the Islanders. Always have. Always will.

  10. Tiki, I play, but on 360. Carp, great point about us having to match the Isles’ intensity. We always have a problem doing it.

    I like that Avery EC Gabby line. I’m starting to lean toward the “Stepan on top line” crew, but he loses too many faceoffs to play that line, and its accompanying minutes, especially for Torch’s system.

  11. hello ilb.

    happy chanukah to all.

    this 2 isle games scare the hell out of me. i would take 3 out of 4 pts

  12. LindaCalPruBoylahan on

    I just got a message from my daughter that she is going to the Winter Classic. I have no idea how they finagled that!!!

  13. LindaCalPruBoylahan on

    Hanukkah is… The festival of lights
    Instead of one day of presents
    We have eight craaaaazy mights

  14. The figures are finally in. The top 10 movie rental over the Hanukkah
    holiday vacation were:

    10) Three Men And A Bubbie
    9) A Few Hood Mentches
    8) The Cohenheads
    7) The Rocky Hora Picture Show
    6) Shalom Alone
    5) Goyz `N The Hood
    4) A Gefilte Fish Called Wanda
    3) The Wizard Of Oys
    2) Who Framed Roger Rabbi?
    1) Prelude To A Bris


  15. lol CCCP

    Per Andrew Gross:

    Torts said he’d start the game with the lines used at today’s practice.

    Sean Avery-Erik Christensen-Marian Gaborik
    Brandon Dubinsky-Derek Stepan-Ryan Callahan
    Ruslan Fedotenko-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
    Alex Frolov-Artem Anisimov-Derek Boogaard/Todd White
    Marc Staal-Dan Girardi
    Michael Del Zotto-Michal Rozsival
    Mike Sauer-Steve Eminger

  16. cccp

    That was funny. Especially the Oys. One man grocery store owner who lived below us was
    from Sevastopol ( He used to call it sevastopoli), and he
    was a big powerful guy. My mother couldn’t stand him, but I got along with him OK, and I asked her why she didn’t care for him. She said that he was insufferably vain about his appearance. It seems that someone once complimented him about his profile, and that since then he always stood behind the counter with his face turned to the side so we could admire his great “profile”

    It was true but I didn’t notice it til she pointed it out. After that I couldn’t help laughing ( hey I was just a kid then) but he sold things that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Like those old fashioned (impossible to find anywhere now), Jewish hard rolls hand made, and the hard glaze shelled Bagels that have also disappeared.

    I’ve searched everywhere for them but it seems no one makes them any more. They were great. My favorite breakfast then was coffee and those rolls with butter or cream cheese, on the bagels. Never did develop a taste for Lox however, even though he sold a lot of it. And I couldn’t even LOOK at Gefilte fish( mispelled?). He once tried to palm off some hard horse radish on me but I was already wise to that because a number of my friends were Jewish, and I had already been taken down that road. ( just to taste it was like biting into flame.) I did however like the Mogen David wine…my mother never knew about that. Memories of childhood…some things you never forget.

  17. Pardon Me Machetto on

    Pardon me Carp, but I would gladly take a loss tonight if it meant they started a run of 8-1-4. 22-13-5 is a record I would gladly accept.

  18. In the Eastern Conference, since the lockout, it’s taken about 91-92 points in the standings to make it into the 8th seed, or the other way is it requires you to take about 56.0% of the points available. The highest it ever took was 94 (57.3%) in 2007/08 and the least it ever took was last year with 88 (53.6%).

    So far the Rangers have taken 55.8% of available points or a 91 point season. They rank 7th in points, but rank 8th in % of points. Fortunately, there’s a bit of a drop off from 8th to 9th, with Carolina having 23 points (47.9%).

    A 22-13-5 record would give them 61.2% of points and let’s say that 92 points this year guarantees a playoff spot, then they’d only need to 51.1% of their remaining points for the next 42 games.

  19. LOL @ all the rest. Lets see how the game goes. Each line needs someone that’s gonna PARK IN THE SLOT AND STAY THERE!!!! Enough of the board battles behind the net that do absolutely nothing.

  20. Shouldn’t the NHL standings include a column for ‘Non Shootout Wins’ since this will now be a major tie breaker?

    OT column represents OT/SO losses (1 point games), but how do you differentiate between regulation/OT wins vs Shootout wins?

  21. fran

    great story! as always…

    I love bagel with cream cheese and lox with hot cup of coffee! To me…there is no better breakfast!

    if you could find a way to get to Brighton Beach i bet you’ll find some hard rolls there :)

    Gefilte Fish with homemade horse reddish… heaven! lol

    You did spell Gefilte fish right but you misspelled Magen David aka Star of David :)

  22. I want only one present for Hanukkah, and I promise to go to Shul right after- can they send White to Hartford? Please?

  23. >>…that Prospal interview @ preseason where Carp narrowly escaped with his life!

    Oh? I didn’t see that interview, Joekuh. I remember Carp had some winter storm related incident with his car and home, or something to that effect.

  24. White is probably going down when the Captain returns. They’ve already waived him, twice. But hey, White’s getting paid $2mn a year to watch Ranger games.

  25. CTB- White is getting paid $2.6M, his cap hit is $2.375M. And we are complaining about Boogaard’s salary? My younger dog is more useful than White. He barks in joy every time I scream after Rangers’ goal.

  26. White is evidence that Brashear and Rissmiller are no longer affiliated with the organization.
    That’s good enough for me!

  27. Fun fact: Rissmiller has the 2nd highest salary in all of the AHL, thanks to Slats.

    I think we all know who has the highest salary in the AHL and currently sporting a gentleman’s mustache in Hartford for the CT Whale.

  28. JB, a bunch of us were interviewing Prospal about the Drury injury near the corner of the rink, and pucks kept hitting the glass and flying over the glass to where we were standing. I think I actually stopped one from hitting Jesse Spector in the head. But we were all flinching throughout the interview and the video was on the Rangers site.

    Noah, I get $2 million to watch Rangers games for a living. Oh, wait, that’s $2.

  29. I’m updating my resume to say “2010-2011: Recorded same amount of goals as Todd White.”

  30. Todd White did score in the ATL game. I saw that one and the Boogaard goal too. Nevermind my 1-4-0 record this year.

  31. Anisimov has not done a thing in weeks. Torts will find a way to get his minutes, but right now he does not deserve to be centering a top line.

  32. Stepan playing with Gabby is unlikely to work too well as I believe it was Hockeyrodent who had a post about this the other day. Gabby is a lefty-playing the off-wing. Stepan would be feeding Gabby backhand to backhand when they play together. Not the ideal scenario to maximize opportunities for your top scorer…with that said, if he gives him the best chance to score than it doesn’t matter. However, that is not a preferred pairing.

  33. Oh this Rangers team will match the intensity. Just like they did with the Oil. The Oilers brought the heat and Rangers were just as fierce!

    Love how Avery tried to fight Malkin.

    Crysob will get his one day. I was praying to the hockey Gods for Dubinsky and him to drop the gloves. Now he’s also going to have Callahan gunning for him extra hard.

  34. Orr,
    I am no fan of Christensen, but right now Anisimov is slumping, a game on the 4th line won’t hurt him. I would think it is very temporary. Boyle is effective whether he is scoring or not, Anisimov needs to be offensive to be effective.

  35. Just to “tickle your pickle”; the Whale have done some line shuffling and MZA has been moved from RW to LW.

    I don’t know that I’d read too much into it – but that doesn’t mean you can’t.


  36. Can someone explain to me what this person is talking about re: the 2010-2011 Devils?

    “start – I don’t think they are doing bad at all!! I think the Devs are starting to pick things up. We just need to get some of our guys back. We have back ups filling in for back ups! Kovys family just got to Jersey from what I understand though, so I’m hoping that helps him settle down.”

  37. >>…a bunch of us were interviewing Prospal about the Drury injury near the corner of the rink…

    Thanks for the recap, Carp. The whole thing sounds pretty funny. How did I miss that discussion?

    Flyers vs Bruins tonight. These are two teams with the most annoying announcers in the NHL. Which feed do I watch?

    Ah, never mind! I think I’ll have this one on Mute.

  38. I can see how not having your family around would make you uncomfortable. And by family, Im thinking Kovy has a wife and/or kids.

    Our BlogMama is not feeling well today. Nothing serious, probably a 24 hour flu, but let’s keep her in our thoughts and hope she gets better by tomorrow.

    ILB – saw your mention of Hanukkah…Are you Jewish too?

  39. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    lmao…stop it!!

    WELCOME BACK TO THE NASTY 1!!! You have been missed! I hope whatever situation you’re having to deal with all works out the way you hope for.

  40. I just got done watching that Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Oh baby! Endless babes.

    Saw Hank there. You couldn’t wipe the smile off his face, even if you told him that he’s been below average this season :P

  41. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    so THAT’S where youse guys were lol ;-)

    Hey ORR, how was your snickers cake?

  42. Damn good. Believe it or not, but I’m still a little sick. I’m just glad to have my taste-buds back. Still fighting a cold, and a never-ending cough that conveniently starts once I’m aboot to go to sleep.

  43. Actually, I’d prefer to be sick on Christmas :P

    I’m not a fan of big family get togethers. I need a good excuse. Maybe NYR will blow an eight goal lead, and I wont be fit to attend any positive gatherings. They’ll understand that.

  44. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    ilbzo, i’ve seen Rangers , Mets, Yankees and Islanders yarmukles! (sorry about the spelling)

    lol Orr!!!

  45. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    so it’s official…

    my daughter got her Winter Classic tickets… the beast!!!!!!!!!!

  46. I am, Tiki. Mrs is Catholic, so we celebrate both. She was lighting up the Hanukkah candle tonight right in front of fully decorated Christmas Tree.

  47. Ilb – You guys are so awesome! I love Jews!!!!! Sally, you, 3CP, and Mama all Jewish!!! Byfugliening awesome!! Me too, btw!

  48. Linda CalPrustBoylahan on

    Hey Mickey, hopefully it ends quickly! oy vey, it’s been a brutal past 3 days!!!!!! I wish i was still in Nashville!!!

  49. Korpedo scored his career high seventh goal tonight.

    In other news, Enver Lisin successfully finished his dinner without any issues. He’ll now go back to the dog house from where he came.

    And in Bizarro World news, Parros has two goals tonight!

    I wonder if Parros has taught Voros how to fight.

  50. Sorry to hear that, Linda.

    I did post my pics from Nashville on fb, so maybe go there and remember the good times?

    3 weeks from today I will be home, so yeah, kinda hoping this month flies by too.

  51. Orr….funny you mention Korpi…he has 13 points in his last 15 games…And he plays mostly on the left wing and PK…about 15 minutes a game…

    Just looked up Enver Lisin. After failing to make the Thrashers in camp, he signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

    But that doesn’t mean I don’t believe your story about him finishing his dinner…haha

    lmao…good vid of Virus….look at him trying to fight…man, I thought Avery was bad…Virus takes being a poor NHL fighter to whole new level

  52. Voros is like a puppy though. You can never stay mad at him, or disappointed with him.

    I’d rather have him over Frolov, that’s for sure! I’d definitely rather have Korpedo over him, EC, Feds. Bad trade.

    Yet another waste of a draft year. Two first round picks, and Slats couldn’t get it right. Could have had Mike Green, Travis Zajerk, Wojtek Wolski, or even future Hall Of Famers, A.J. Thelan, or Kris Chucko.

    We missed out!

  53. I understand what you mean Orr. If Voros brought anything to the Rangers, it was heart and energy. Rarely did that translate into a smart hockey play though. lol. Its not his fault. He meant well. He doesn’t have much talent. Big guy with decent hands but a very bad skater. Tried to stick up for teammates. He was fun to watch. Kind of like how a clown is fun to watch.

    Yes…don’t forget about Boris Valabok! 3rd highest paid player currently playing in the AHL!

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